With these Inspirational Runners’ Stories I aim to show that running is for everyone. So I am super pleased that Jade was willing to share with my readers her story. Her story isn’t about her Down Syndrome other than to show it doesn’t hold her back from being a triathlete. You can follow her journey on Instagram and Facebook details at the end).
Recently I completed a course with England Athletics about inclusivity helping those with a disability take part in sport, so I am hoping that it is becoming easier and easier for running to be accessible to all. Whilst all running groups should adapt things to ensure that everyone can take part there are also running groups which are organised for people who have Down Syndrome. This is the same for many other different types of disability.
Inspirational Runner Jade’s Story
I’m Jade Kingdom, I’m 35 years old and I have Down Syndrome.
I’ll be honest right from the start. When I was young I had no interest in sport! I actually had no interest in sport until I hit the big 30.
When you have a disability I think that immediately people assume that you would have no interest in sport, would never want to sign up to an event and could never finish an event.
Wanting to do a Triathlon
After watching family members take part in various Triathlons I remember saying to my mum, ‘I want to do one.’ Initially laughed off, based on me never so much having been for a run, it was my brother in-law and triathlete, Tom, who took it upon himself to sign me up for a triathlon. This is where my running and sports journey began.
I started to go on regular runs with my auntie Lisa as part of my weekly training. I initially could only run/walk very short distances due to my poor level of fitness.
Although a very slow runner I was consistent and week in week out I would run regularly. I also joined a swim club once a week to boost my fitness.
After 6 months of running I gained a lot of fitness and could now run up to 5 miles.
Running became my thing. I love the way it made me feel, I loved the support I got from people in the street, I loved that I could actually do it!
Running and Down Syndrome
The downside of running for me though was its physical toll on my body. Having DS I have cardiovascular issues, I have an under active thyroid, I suffer with the veins in my legs and my feet literally fall apart.
I have found that running is my passion, but I also found that I was quite good at fundraising too. I began undertaking events in aid of my favourite charity, The North Devon Hospice. To date I have raised about £25,000.
I now believe I can do anything and see myself as a runner, triathlete, fundraiser and hopefully someone that inspires people – disability or not.
I believe that anyone can do anything as long as you commit yourself.
Always believe in yourself!
Jade Kingdom on Facebook